After the eagerly awaited unveiling of the new Ospreys jersey earlier today, it was revealed that the ongoing popularity of the shirt is continuing to drive commercial performance at the region.
Long established as the second biggest selling jersey in the UK and Ireland, a position it has held every year since 2006, the Ospreys shirts outperforms all its PRO12 rivals bar Munster, as well as every club in the Aviva Premiership.
An independent report compiled by Running Rugby, a respected website aimed at ‘decision makers in league and union’ has previously illustrated how the Ospreys jersey outsells its Welsh rivals, with sales running at double the number of the other three regions combined.
That sales phenomenon means that its commercial value continues to soar, with Ospreys Rugby Chief Executive, Andrew Hore, revealing this afternoon that this year’s shirt has seen record investment into the business.
“Undoubtedly, the phenomenon that is the Ospreys jersey is something that we can all be proud of” said Hore.
“Our commercial team works incredibly hard all year round to drive investment into the business and this year, in terms of kit sponsorship agreements, have been able to deliver record investment. Clearly that has a significant impact on our business performance and is to be commended.
“The reports that we receive back from market analysts highlights that in terms of television exposure, the Ospreys are leading the way in this country. Combine that with the incredible jersey sales that we continue to enjoy and it adds up to a very attractive proposition for commercial partners, hence the growing investment in what remains a cautious business environment.”
The launch of the new shirt kicks off a new season for the Ospreys in style, after the business continued to improve its off field performance during 2014/15, as Hore explained.
“We’ve come a long way over the last few years, and everybody involved with the business can take great pride in our performance” he said.
“Through a lot of hard work from a lot of very committed and dedicated people we’ve been able to turnaround the business from the position of an annual loss approaching £2million, to the position where we were able to return accounts for 2013/14 that showed an operating loss of just £6,000.
“The robust, long-term business plan that we have in place means that our pre-audit figures for 2014/15 are even healthier and we are looking at a small profit, which is a very healthy position to be in.
“Of course, we can’t stand still and pat ourselves on the back. Rugby is a fast moving, ever changing business, and if we aren’t always striving for improvement and pursuing excellence in everything we do then we’ll get left behind.
“The record investment into kit sponsorship is a good start for this financial year, but that’s all it is, a start. It’s essential that everybody keeps working hard and keeps pushing forward, doing what is best for the long-term future of rugby in this region.”